Duration: 8:00
Instrumentation: voice
Premiere: December 4, 2005 // Flushing Library, Queens, NYC
Premiere performer: Elizabeth Mondragon, soprano
Publisher: A-Town Publications (ASCAP) © 2003

audio excerpt

Program Note:
Chronophobia, meaning fear of time, depicts three distinctive characters as they grapple with time and each other. Each, at any given moment, may personify three, separate individuals or one entity with multiple personalities. —Erin Rogers (2003)

I. The Circle Game (text by Erin Rogers, dedicated to Joni Mitchell)
tick, tock
imprisoned in this cage, clock
dreaming of candy and music and carousels
tick, tock
circle game
tick, tock
someday I’ll walk

II. Nights in Fast Cars (text by Erin Rogers)
Spider bite, slithering snake, I pray, leave me be, birds, flocking, flying, falling, stand up, wind, wined, fine, line, find, ally, pry, defy, bribe, night, mine, tine, kite, fight, sight, entice, dice, file, wild, crime, sign crying babies, silent nights in fast cars, green, shine, go, hold, light, no, fight, indirect, now, wait, to, follow, slippery, whoa bridge, win, tip, ster, stripe, road, style, rage, speed, red, slide, white, hot, I, ice, slow down the swelling, earth attack of alien states of mind body of water, pan, pick, panic, mix, pix, I, span, so, pick, pull, help, me, shore, hope, a, heave, me, ashore, swim

III. The Last Bison
(text excerpts from The Last Bison (1890) by Charles Mair (1838-1927). This work has been released into the public domain.)

[The Song] Here me, [ye] smokeless skies and grass-green earth, Since by your sufferance still I breathe and live! (Thank you!) Fond Nature gave me birth, And food and freedom–all she had to give. Enough! I grew, and [with my kindred] ranged Their realm stupendous, changeless and unchanged, Save by the toll of nations primitive, Who throve on us, and loved our life-stream’s roar, And lived beside its wave, and camped upon its shore.

[Then fell a double] terror on the plains, The swift in-spreading of destruction dire– Strange men, who ravaged our domain On every hand, and ringed us round with fire; Pale enemies who slew with equal mirth The harmless or the hurtful things of earth, In dead fruition of our mad desire: The ministers of mischief and of might, Who yearn for havoc as the world’s supreme delight. (Oh!)

The centuries in dim procession fly! Long ages roll, and then at length is bared (A) time when they who spared not are no longer spared.

Hear me, [thou] grass-green earth, [ye] smokeless skies, Since by your sufferance [still] I breathe and live! (In Rapture) The charity which man denies (For Greed) Ye still would tender to the fugitive! I feel your mercy in my veins–[at length] Too late, too late, [the courage ye would give!] Naught can avail these wounds, this failing breath, This frame which feels [at last] the wily touch of death.